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By Prince Golez

Malacañang dispelled fears that the shutdown of broadcasting giant ABS-CBN Corp. could lead to a declaration of martial law across all of the Philippines.

In the show “Counterpoint” aired over PTV-4, Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the House Committee on Legislative Franchises only observed the rule of law when it chose to deny the broadcast giant’s franchise renewal application.

“Hindi ibig sabihin ito ay isang hakbang tungo sa diktaturya,” according to Panelo.

“Sa tingin nga natin, this is in fact a further step towards the faithful observance of due process of law,” he also said.

The Palace official was reacting to the statement of Malacañang Press Corps that the the decision of the panel to reject ABS-CBN’s bid for another franchise is a step towards tyranny.

Last July 19, House lawmakers voted 70-11, denying the network a new 25-year franchise. Two congressmen inhibited and one abstained from the vote.

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